Welcome to Nantes, France. OK, maybe that isn’t entirely true. Welcome to a Best Western at the end of the #75 bus line, which is a 15 minute walk to my company’s local office, which is in the suburbs of Nantes.
It’s a bit like people in Norcross welcoming you to Atlanta.
It’s not a bad trip. My coworkers are wonderful and my training has gone brilliantly. There have been productive meetings, team dinner at a Michelin rated restaurant, and a “team building” game of laser tag that reminds me it’s easy to get shot by people from a variety of cultures.
So far, it’s been work. But it hasn’t felt like overseas travel.
OK, my inability to order anything more complicated than a fish sandwich without apologizing for my linguistic deficiencies is a pretty good indication I’m not back in the US of A. But there hasn’t been any real travel experience beyond mild jet lag and a lot of cheese on the breakfast buffet. My most exotic experience thus far has been buying disposable razors and aftershave in a French grocery store.
The weekend will change this. Thanks to a holiday I didn’t know about till after booking my plane tickets, I’m a tourist until Tuesday. Nantes has some fantastic museums, tons of old buildings and a bus line that takes me directly to the city center.
Sure, I’ll probably drink in an expat bar and mangle an elegant European language while ordering wine. But I’ll also see a new city, take lots of cool pictures and ignore my alarm clock for a few days.
There’s also a giant mechanical elephant in my future. So things are looking up.